"It's an incredibly meaninngful role to be able to help spark a young mind."

Working as an educator with Outside the Lens I am able to put into play all the minds that have helped build my repertoire of advice - pulling from stories and examples from those who have inspired me - all with different points of views and pathways to success. From the teachers before me who lead and inspired me from my photography instructor at CSUSM like Deborah Small, my thesis advisor at Pratt, Claudia Herbst Tait. Employers and leaders like David Cunningham and Kyle Hagler of IMG Models, Marianne Tesler of Art Partner. My mother and father. All teaching different lessons, but all with an overarching theme of dedication, hard work, and perseverance.

I'm a firm believer of connecting the dots. That all of these people and stories are brought into your life for a reason, imparted knowledge to you for a reason, and its up to you to pull and decipher what that knowledge was for, why the seed was planted, and how and why you will use it. 

This week my students are in preparation for their second show, and progress and understanding of the process has come through full force, in terms of their work, submission process, and relaxed feeling - coming off the confidence and success of the previous show. In conjunction to their school work the students are actively submitting student work to statewide exhibitions and we got our first winner this weekend - V - who took first place at the Grossmont Unified School District Art Show. The show included works from all 13 High Schools in the District and its amazing to see what hard work and dedication to a craft can do. V is the type of person who constantly seeks advice, formulates new ideas, spends his time working on the weekends to hone the craft.

Everyday I'm inspired by my students and while for now I may the "know it all" imparting my 2 cents, I know its only a matter of time before they take my place. In fact I look forward to it.

Alex  

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